Will Hernandez
Robby Sabo, ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

Dave Gettleman and his New York Giants are getting back to basics as they’ve drafted offensive lineman Will Hernandez in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

The New York Giants got themselves a true hog mollie in the second-round of the NFL Draft. UTEP guard Will Hernandez was chosen by the Giants with the 34th overall pick on Friday night, giving Big Blue a physical force in the middle of their offensive line.

Improving the running game has been a big focus of the Giants for general manager Dave Gettleman going into the offseason, and that’s been the case so far in the draft with the selection of Hernandez and taking Penn State running back Saquon Barkley with the No. 2 overall pick.

Hernandez was a four-year starter for UTEP at left guard, starting all 49 games he played in during his collegiate career.

The Las Vegas native earned first-team all-conference honors for the Miners in both 2016 and 2017, making him the first offensive lineman in the program’s history to earn back-to-back first-team honors. Hernandez was also selected, twice, to the AP All-American second-team squad for the Miners, making him the first student-athlete in the school’s history to achieve that feat.

Standing in at 6-foot-2 and weighing 346 pounds, Hernandez is a brutal force in the trenches. He’s a “mauler” as most scouts would describe, being very aggressive at the point of attacking in run blocking.

At the NFL Combine last month, Hernandez showed off impressive strength, leading all offensive lineman with 37 reps on the 225-pound bench press test. His time of 5.15 seconds is very good for a man his size, showing Hernandez has the speed and athleticism to block well in space and be a good pulling guard.

Hernandez can slide right in and start at right guard for the Giants.

He’ll compete with Jon Halpio, John Greco and John Jerry for the starting right guard spot.

Gettleman has been hard at work this offseason improving the Giants’ offensive line, signing left tackle Nate Solder and interior lineman Patrick Omameh in free agency.

Hernandez adds to that, helping solidify the Giants’ offensive line and gives Big Blue physical and aggressive force at the guard position that they haven’t had since the days of Chris Snee and Rich Seubert.

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